USA Cycling has officially rolled out its program to increase doping controls at its National Calendar events, grassroots races and out-of-competition. The initiative is aimed at bringing the US Anti-Doping Agency to more races across the USA.
Cyclingnews first reported on USA Cycling's intent to join grassroots anti-doping programmes such as Florida's Clean Ride fund as a way to combat doping at the amateur level last November.
USA Cycling calls the so-called RaceClean program "the most extensive anti-doping effort to be introduced by a U.S. National Governing Body within its own events".
Funded by USA Cycling and through contributions by national calendar races, teams and riders, as well as through voluntary donations by members, clubs and local associations, the programme will increase education as well as testing, with USADA acting independently to conduct controls and adjudicate doping cases. The testing will begin with road, mountain bike cross-country and cyclo-cross national calendars "with the goal of including track and BMX national calendars in the near future", according to USA Cycling.
It will also add more riders to the out-of-competition testing pool, and allow local associations to opt-in to a program for testing at the local level, with USA Cycling matching funds up to $6,000. Members will be able to donate when purchasing licenses or, with non-members alike, through the RaceClean Fund web site.
"The development of this innovative and collaborative RaceClean program is intended to send a strong statement about anti-doping, further establish the trust in our sport, and ensure a level playing field at all levels of racing," said USA Cycling President and CEO Steve Johnson. "This important program represents a considerable financial contribution by USA Cycling, and it is gratifying to see that race directors, teams, riders and our Local Associations fully support this initiative. Members and non-members alike can actively participate and show their commitment to clean competition by making a donation to the USA Cycling RaceClean fund."
The RaceClean concept came out of discussions at a USA Cycling stakeholders meeting which included team managers, local association representatives and race directors.
Optum Pro Cycling director Jonas Carney supported the initiative which will bring more testing to the top Continental events.
"Our team sees this effort by USA Cycling as a big step forward in the fight against doping here in the US," Carney said. "It is everyone's responsibility to fight for a clean sport ... Our team welcomes the increased testing and we hope that this will help to ensure a fair and level playing field for competitive cyclists in America."
For more information, please visit the RaceClean webpage.